Star Liana York - Summer Spinning
- Medium: Bronze
- Edition: 35
- Size: 15'' x 12.5'' x 13''
"Fabric of Life" Suite. The suite consists of four sculptures that reflect the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Each represents a stage in the creation of a wool weaving, from the raising of the sheep to the blanket's use. Interwoven is the life of a Navajo woman - as a child, mother, grandmother and finally elder - I will call her Nizhoni, "Summer Spinner". Part of the process of turning wool into weavable yarn is drawing out the "carded" wool after shearing the sheep into thinner, finer thread. It requires pulling the wool thru fingers with a twirling motion as it is wound onto a spindle. Nizhoni has become a young mother who teaches her own daughters by example as her mother showed her and her mother did her, going back generations. Before weaving into intricate patterns, the yarn may be dyed with natural pigments. These patterns are developed from a sense of aesthetic influenced by the dramatic beauty of the surrounding desert environment. The symbols used also reflect their beliefs and myths. Often the design may tell a story of either the tribe or family history that also incorporates their cultural values. So, not only does this mother pass along the skill of creating yarn and weaving fabric, but also she teaches the symbology of their culture.